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Modern and busy personal life requires an intelligent method to manage your work and life. Getting things done flowchart will be the capable tool to help you actualize this.

It is a visual chart to help you plan and keep track of the relevant task you have set out. In addition, the GTD diagram is also a way for you to be more effective in time control and reduce pressure at work.

Because of its simplicity and ease of implementation, this flowchart is increasing in popularity. This article is for those wondering how to start your task plan diagram.

getting things done flowchart gtd
Getting Things Done Flowchart

Getting Things Done Flowchart Overview 


Getting things done flowchart is a well-known type of diagram to describe the process to manage your time and tasks visually. This flowchart is based on the "Getting things Done" method, a personal productivity system developed by David Allen in 2001.

GTD workflow processing and organizing
GTD workflow processing and organizing

Horizons Of Focus Theory

Two crucial elements in this productivity method are control and perspective. David Allen developed the theory called "Horizons of focus" based on them. It includes six levels, from low to high, as follows:

  • Ground: Current actions 
  • Horizon 1: Current projects 
  • Horizon 2: Areas of focus and accountability 
  • Horizon 3: 1–2 year goals 
  • Horizon 4: Long-term visions 
  • Horizon 5: Life 

Once you determine which Horizon you are in, it will be easier to sketch a complete GTD diagram for yourself.

Main Principles 

  • Break complex projects down into clear and concrete action steps
  • Consolidate all jobs into one system, eliminating unnecessary or ambiguous tasks
  • Set the sequence of tasks

Who Should Use GTD Flowchart?

If you belong to one of the following groups of people, the GTD workflow map will be the assistant to help you get more things done and be more productive.

  • People have poor memory because of stress and busy work and often forget what they need to do.
  • People are busy and have too many jobs or tasks to complete but are afraid of not ensuring progress.
  • People who are not good at managing time and work during the day.
  • People who have not found the right performance and work management flowchart.

GTD Flowchart Creation Guideline 

A model of GTD diagram 
A model of GTD diagram 

Capture (Collect)

In this step, you have to gather all the tasks you need to deal with together. Then, capture all in one place to make sure you do not miss anything.
These can be tasks on the daily to-do list, work on a small project, or even long-term plans. In addition, they can also be an email inbox, voicemail, or document at work that you need to handle.
The most crucial purpose of this stage is to turn the thoughts and things that hold your attention into detailed task lists for the future.

Clarify (Process)

This is the clarify phase to answer three questions:

  • What is it? : defines the input (tasks, works, plans, projects) to serve as the premise for the classification.
  • Is it actionable? : making action decisions by answering YES or NO. There are three reasons you would say NO to the task field: you removed non-actionable items, you do it but not right now, and you want to use it as reference material for later.
  • What is the next action? : this is the next question after you say YES to the job you need to do. However, you should immediately do tasks that take less than 2 minutes. For 2-minute tasks, you can choose to defer or delegate them.

Organize (Prioritize)

The next thing to do is prioritize and make current action to the larger task that needs more than 2 minutes to finish. Finally, it would be best if you created your folders to organize tasks in groups easily.

Here are some types of folders you can refer to include in your flowchart:

  • One-day-list folder: the daily tasks to be completed (remember to specify the date)
  • Pending folder: the current task you are working on, waiting for feedback, and needing to complete
  • Urgent folder: tasks you need to complete as quickly as possible to meet deadlines
  • Reference folder: jobs that are not too urgent but you find interesting and can do later

In addition, you can also create a calendar priority for yourself to specify the time and date to finish each relevant task. You should schedule earlier for more urgent, higher prior duties and vice versa.

Reflect (Plan)

It would help if you determined where you are in your work progress not to fall behind. Accordingly, it would help if you did a weekly review of the priorities to ensure it is reasonable for you to achieve the progression you expected.
Besides, there will always be some new tasks. And you have to set a time for them and update into getting things done flowchart. So what to do is make a frequent review of the diagram every week to make sure everything is clear and under your control.

gtd flowchart
Organize all stuff before you start to engage them

Engage (Do)

Everything will be easy if you go to this step. You only need to perform the list of tasks in the order you set earlier from high to low priority.
You can repeat this circulation for the upcoming tasks after solving all stuff in the GTD flowchart without any extra problems.

Purpose And Application Of GTD Flowchart  


First, the GTD flowchart helps you balance work and life. It assists you in solving relevant tasks quickly and avoiding working overtime. Besides, time management at work will be more effective because it will help you eliminate unnecessary or duplicate missions.
Productive task management makes you defeat deadlines and no longer feel stressed or exhausted. As a result, you also have more time to focus on work and develop your thinking and creativity.
For those who usually forget things, a daily review of your diagram in the morning or during the break helps you avoid missing tasks to do during the day. Your work progress is continuous, as you do not need to think about the following things to do.


In actual projects, you can use a GTD workflow map as a timetable or day task list. You can list the relevant tasks you need to complete with their priority order.
In work, the GTD diagram is the most popular method for managing emails, task lists, or the work of a personal project list.

Tips For Creating GTD Flowcharts

Select direction for flowchart

Whether you want to create a flowchart with pen and paper or with online tools, choosing a direction to start is necessary. Usually, people draw GTD flowcharts in the two most common directions: top to bottom or right to left.


If you draw your flowchart on a computer, you should use the same format for factors such as font, font size, color, and symbols for the folders. In addition, it is essential to make the flowchart more professional, clear, and easy to follow.

Distance and Alignment

Lines or arrows are key elements to link steps in a flowchart. You should find reasonable spaces for these lines to ensure your flowchart looks transparent with scientifically demarcated stages.